Walking in the wind

by Pamela Newham

The wind tugs at their hair and teases their clothes
but they do not care for they are talking and talking.

What are they discussing?
Probably not local elections or postal strikes
or the high cost of cauliflowers.

Now and then they stop but do not look
at the white-tufted waves or the mountains
or the squabbling seagulls
instead they stand for a moment, laughing.

Then they carry on walking
Talking and talking as the wind
whisks their secrets out to sea.

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Not Lost in Translation

by Elaine Edwards

She said, “Your car will be safe with me, sir.”

But I think she meant:
As you see
I’m a seventy- something Caucasian female
weighing, at the most, 46 kilograms
so how could I possibly challenge
a determined thief?
But this is a job
that gives me some
dignity.

You said, “Thank you.”

But you really meant:
I will give you a decent tip when I get back.

And then you both smiled

(and that needs no translation).

Baleen

by Lise Day

Feathery, comb-like
filters of plankton and krill
harvested in blubber and blood
hacked from the jaws of whales
flayed till palely naked
transported in mucky holds
of ships bucketed on arctic seas
steeped in chemical baths
then inserted in corsets
narrow slits of silk and lace
to nestle intimate
in bosoms and clinched waists
of fine ladies of fashion.

Gulp

by Pam Newham

“So, how’s the poetry?” she asks,
passing the blackcurrant jus.
I am surprised.
She’s never shown much interest
before in what I do.
But the other guests appear
interested too so I chat
about verse and metre,
couplet and refrain
until I notice, on their faces,
confusion or is it pain?
So, I stop, pick up my glass
and that’s when I see
this cheerless wine is called
Poetry.